Northland Adventure

  • 5 Days
  • Avg Group Size: 12
  • Activity Level 2
    • Activity Level 2

      Hikes on our Level 2 adventures are considered easy to moderate in difficulty.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Auckland
  • Trip End: Auckland
Intro Block Image 457 530px 16

Immerse yourself in the North Island's nature and culture

Take five days to discover the charms of the North Island. Explore colossal kauri forests, dive or snorkel the Poor Knights Islands, and learn about the Maori culture as you make your way along some of the best coastline of New Zealand.

Download Our Handy Trip Itinerary

Our Trip Itinerary contains all the exciting details you can expect to do on our trips. Get a clear picture of the adventures on this trip.


Northland Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Auckland Trip End: Auckland

Download our Handy Trip itenary

Our Trip Itinerary contains all the exciting details you can expect to do on our trips. Get a clear picture of the adventures on this trip

  • Day 1Journey north, Waipoua Forest and Footprints tour

  • Day 2Te Pouahi Reserve, Waitangi River walk, Bay of Islands

  • Day 3Hike Cape Brett, Bay of Islands

  • Day 4Cruise Poor Knights Islands, snorkel or kayak

  • Day 5Hike Northland coastline, depart

  • Day 1

    Journey north, Waipoua Forest and Footprints tour


    Leaving Auckland city behind us, we’ll head North to the small historic boat building village of Paparoa for a picnic lunch. We’ll then continue through to the West Coast Settlement of Opononi, a harbor town made famous in the mid-1950s by the tame dolphin, Opo, who used to let children ride on his back.

    Later, after dinner, we'll head back out into the Waipoua Forest for a twilight walk, where we'll be joined by local Maori guides. It's a memorable and spiritual experience to witness the greeting of these colossal trees with spine-tingling waiata (sacred chant). We'll also visit Tane Mahuta (meaning Lord of the Forest), New Zealand's largest known living kauri tree. At a height of 51.2 meters (168 feet), and with a trunk girth of 13.7 meters (45 feet), this silent giant, with ancient limbs, seems to grasp at the stars.
    Accommodation: The Heads, Hokianga Harbour
    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

    Hiking: 3 hours, relaxed stroll

  • Day 2

    Te Pouahi Reserve, Waitangi River walk, Bay of Islands


    After breakfast, we’ll board a water taxi to the other side of the Hokianga Harbour to walk the sand dunes at Te Pouahi Reserve. We’ll take some sandboards along too, for those who’re keen to take the fast route down! More than 1,000 years ago, Māori warrior chief Kupe and his people were the first to arrive in New Zealand, landing on the shores of Hokianga Harbour. The area was also one of the first points of Māori and European contact.

    With our sandboarding fix satisfied, we'll head east to the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi and hike along the bush-clad banks of the Waitangi River to Haruru Falls. The journey features a boardwalk section which provides an opportunity to pass through the interior of a mature mangrove forest, and we know we'll be approaching the end of the walk when we hear the thundering roar of the Falls.

    Later, we’ll head to the Jewel of the Bay of Islands, Paihia, a bustling seaside town with golden sand beaches.
    Accommodation: Kingsgate Auto Lodge, Paihia
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Hiking: 7.5 miles (12 kilometers), 5 hours
    Elevation Gain/Loss: 65 feet (20 meters) ascent, 65 feet (20 meters) descent

  • Day 3

    Hike Cape Brett, Bay of Islands


    This morning, we’ll take a water taxi from Paihia out to Deep Water Cove for a ridgeline hike to Cape Brett through the Manawahuna Scenic Reserve. On route, you’ll experience the Bay of Islands from the ridge tops and get magnificent views. This is a 3-4 hour hike with rewarding views of the Bay of Islands the entire way - you may even see dolphins and seals from your vantage point high up on the cliffs. The mountains that we’re crossing are very important to the local Iwi (Maori tribe). The mountain “Rakaumangamanga” is one point of the Polynesian Triangle - Hawaii and Rapanui are the other two.

    If you’re not feeling up to the hike, have a chat to our guides and they can arrange an alternative boat trip around the Bay of Islands. Later, we’ll be picked up at Cape Brett, again by water taxi for the scenic cruise back to Paihia.
    Accommodation: Ocean Resort Hotel, Tutukaka
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Hiking: 3 miles (5 kilometers), 3 hours
    Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,550 feet (473 meters) ascent, 1,550 feet (473 meters) descent


  • Day 4

    Cruise Poor Knights Islands, snorkel or kayak


    After breakfast, we’ll head out for an early morning walk before boarding a purpose-built boat for a cruise to the Poor Knights Islands. This small cluster of islets is home to a wealth of biodiversity both above and below the water. While you head across from the mainland, keep your eyes peeled for flocks of petrels, shearwaters, and gannets – many of these shorebirds nest almost exclusively on the islands you’ll be visiting.

    The Poor Knights is the second oldest marine reserve in New Zealand, and the sub-tropical environment is now an important conservation area for many species of marine life. Whales, dolphins, and orca can often be spotted, as well as a myriad of fish species that constantly trawl the reserve. You’ll visit the world’s largest sea cave, and hear all about the islands’ history including their occupation by ancient Māori. Our guides will then give you the chance to explore under your own steam, by providing you with either a snorkel and mask or a kayak.
    Accommodation: Ocean Resort Hotel, Tutukaka
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    If you’re a keen scuba diver, there’s an option to upgrade to diving for an additional fee, including all the necessary gear. This option must be pre-arranged. This option must be reserved at time of booking only.

  • Day 5

    Hike Northland coastline, depart


    This morning, we’ll follow the coastal road as it winds its way south alongside tree-lined white sand beaches to Waipu, a quaint village with a strong Scottish heritage dating back to the 1850s.

    Then we’ll make our way to Mangawhai Heads for one of the finest coastal cliff-top walks in the country. The walk offers glorious views of the Northland coastline, passing through shady bush and beneath giant old pohutukawa trees, and then returns along the beach.

    After lunch, we’ll continue south from Mangawhai Heads towards the city of Auckland, when we'll wish you farewell.
    Accommodation: Not applicable
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Hiking: 3 miles (5 kilometers), 3 hours
    Elevation Gain/Loss: 130 feet (40 meters) ascent, 130 feet (40 meters) descent


Departure Dates



  • Our own highly experienced guides, driver, and cook, with you from start to finish
  • Industry-leading Guest-to-Guide ratio (averaging 6:1)
  • Your own ‘Travel Wallet’, an online space with everything required for your adventure
  • Our knowledgeable Customer Service Team to answer your queries - just a phone call, email or chat away
  • Customer Service pre-trip phone calls to ensure you’re 'trip ready'
  • All accommodations for the duration of your trip
  • All meals except where indicated in the itinerary
  • Unlimited snacks to keep you fueled
  • All activities outlined in the itinerary
  • All necessary equipment (well-maintained and safe) for activities, including Hiking Poles
  • All park and other entry fees
  • Transportation in our air-conditioned vans - safe, clean, modern, and comfortable!

What Our Guests Say

ACT Square Deal Posts 5

Take 10% off the trip price when you book a trip and pay in full

By paying in full we are able to pass on savings to our guests, but please note that by opting for this payment plan, your booking becomes non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable. This offer is only valid for reservations where the trip is no sooner than 180 days from the departure date at time of booking.

We highly recommend that you purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance. We recommend Redpoint Insurance - you can find details here.

*Terms & conditions apply – read more here


Useful Info

Where does the trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our three pick-up locations are Auckland International Airport Terminal (AKL) at the Help Desk directly opposite international arrivals at 8am, the Auckland Domestic Airport Terminal (AKL) directly outside Door #2 at 8.15am or the Sudima Auckland City Hotel in Auckland central at 9:30am. You are welcome to book your pre-trip stay at this hotel directly or any other hotel in Auckland, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Auckland Airport (AKL) in time for flights below or the Sudima Auckland City Hotel in the late afternoon/early evening.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Auckland by 6am. Many guests like to arrive a day or two early to accommodate potential flight delays and/or explore the city prior to your trip start.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Auckland after 6pm domestic and 7pm international flight departures. Earlier flight times will require a separate transfer booked at your own expense.

How much luggage can I bring on this trip?

You are allowed one piece of luggage on your trip, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage should not exceed 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and can be anything from a duffle bag to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase. You’ll also want a good quality backpack sized 25-30 liters (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days. 

Tell me about the Poor Knights Islands day?

While cruising at the Poor Knights Islands we spend the day snorkeling and kayaking. There's also an opportunity for you to do one or two scuba dives in this fantastic marine reserve. 

All shapes and sizes of wetsuits are provided, which are two-piece 7mm wetsuits with long arms and legs. You’re welcome to bring your own if you prefer. We also provide booties, fins, mask, snorkel, BCD (buoyancy control), tanks with weights, and a regulator with a computer. If you are certified to dive then please bring along your PADI certification card, and there is an option to dive if you have never done it before too. Note; for the beginner diving, this is an average depth of 12 metres, and minimum age is 10 years.

You have the choice of the following dive options:

  • One dive for certified diver
  • One dive for beginner diver
  • Two dives for certified diver on special diving trip

What is not included?

Flights to and from trip start/end points
15% NZ Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Pre/Post Accommodation
Optional extra activities
Travel insurance
Gratuities for your guides
Trekking packs and sleeping bags (if applicable)

Is tipping expected in New Zealand?

Tipping is neither required nor routinely expected in New Zealand, but it is appropriate for very good service. In New Zealand you don't usually tip in restaurants, or if you take a taxi, or get a haircut. Many of our guests do choose to tip our guides and we recommend USD$20 per day, per guest, per guide. You are welcome to tip an equivalent amount in the local currency. There are plenty of ATM’s and banks in the larger towns of New Zealand.

What additional activities are on offer in New Zealand?

You’ll be participating in loads of amazing activities during your tour, however, you may be wondering what other cool stuff you can do before or after your trip to make the most of your time in New Zealand.  

We’ve teamed up with the good folk at Everything Travel and you’re welcome to book any pre or post-trip ‘things to do’ directly with them.  

For trips starting and/or ending in the South Island, check out things to do before and/or after your trip here.

For trips starting and/or ending in North Island, check out things to do before and/or after your trip here.

Make sure any activities you book are before or after your trip only as your tour itself is already filled to the brim with the adventures we offer!

How do rooming arrangements work?

Trip prices are based on shared arrangements (typically two guests per room), unless otherwise stated. For solo travelers, we’ll pair you with another person of the same gender to share rooms and if there’s no one suitable to share with, there’s no forced single supplement. However, if you specifically request your own rooms, you can opt to pay the single supplement. Solo travelers who book within 90 days of departure, where there are no other solo travelers willing to share, will be required to pay the single supplement. 

For Family Vacation bookings, families consisting of four guests traveling with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

show more

show less

Our Local Guides

Why Travel With Us


Experience adventure the way you want

You’ll be inspired and exhilarated, enjoying mind-blowing scenery on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike - all at your own pace.

benefits awards

Crafting award-winning trips for decades - the New Zealand way

We're proud of our New Zealand roots and you’ll love our professional and warm style of hosting. We’re always here to help with planning... even hiking boot recommendations!

benefit time v2

Every detail covered, to maximise your time

We've got everything covered – top-notch meals, comfortable transport, superb accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

benefit group travel

Group travel for those who aren’t ‘group travelers’

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading average 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you'll get to know your fellow travelers and have the flexibility to go at your own pace.

benefit gems

Explore hidden gems through our expert local guides

All our carefully selected guides are highly experienced and have deep personal connections to nature and culture. You’ll enjoy an authentic local experience.

benefit review

Over 10,000 5-star reviews - that’s pretty solid

We could hang around all day telling you how wonderful our trips are... but the best people to hear it from are our guests themselves.